Around P3.7 billion has been allocated for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Supplementary Feeding Program in next year’s budget, the Department of Budget and Management announced Friday.
The program is expected to benefit around 1.8 million children, who are enrolled in child development centers managed by local government units and supervised neighborhood play.
Around 157,968 malnourished youngsters will benefit from the milk feeding program.
For her part, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman highlighted the importance of the program.
“The future of our country lies in our youth. Kaya naman dapat tiyakin natin na ang mga bata, lalo na iyong mga nasa formative years, ay hindi malilipasan ng gutom. We want our children to eat healthy, and live healthy,” she said.
The Budget Secretary added that good nutrition is important to develop and enhance the physical and mental capacities of children.
SFP comprises two subprograms: Regular feeding, and milk distribution.
The first subprogram was sought to receive a P3.1 billion allocation, and the second was proposed to be allocated with P360 million.
The remaining P181.9 million was set aside for administrative costs of the SFP.
DSWD is the lead agency in the program implementation of the SFP for undernourished children aged three to five years old.
In his budgetary message for the 2023 National Expenditure Program, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recognized “the need to continue to address malnutrition in infants, toddlers and children.”
Republic Act 11037, also known as “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act,” institutionalizes a nation feeding program for undernourished children in public daycare, kindergarten and elementary schools to combat hunger and undernutrition among Filipino children.
In 2021, a total of 1,685,170 young children were given nourishment through the SFP.
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